AMERICAN DAD – “Brave N00b World” (Episode 4, season 17)
Chinese ice cream can save the world. That’s the message of this episode of American Dad.
CIA agent Stan Smith has a new assignment. A North Korean general is expected to be in China for an Overwatch video game competition. Stan and his team must enter the contest and progress through the rounds to assassinate the general, but first he will need his son Steve’s help playing the game and looking like a millennial. Jackson better learn to vape if he wants to fool anyone into thinking he’s young and into Overwatch! If the team can get some Chinese ice cream while there, so much the better.
Unfortunately for Stan and his team (and the world), his attention is split between his son and his assignment. He wasn’t totally honest with Steve, who thinks this is more a father-son trip than a kill-a-North-Korean-general trip. As Stan is learning, focus is key. So how can he split his focus between assignment and son?
Since it’s Stan Smith we’re talking about, you can safely assume he screws it up and the mission goes wrong as usual. But this time, he didn’t just screw it up Stan style. He didn’t even stop at full Sledge Hammer. This time, Stan goes all the to way maximum Rick and Morty, and destroys the entire world.
Smith misses his shot, botching the assassination. China launches their nukes. America retaliates. Mutually assured destruction.
Fortunately, China saved mementos of their heritage in a culture pod, including a cone of delicious Chinese ice cream. So America launches an eagle-headed missile adorned with truck-nuts and blaring “Kickstart My Heart”, and the culture pod is destroyed. Before you can say “Kee-stah-ma-hah”, there is nothing left of the Earth. Nothing but rubble, dust, and ash…and a single scoop of Chinese ice cream, floating in space, past Mars, past the asteroid belt, and into the void.
For one million years, the ice cream floats through the cosmos undisturbed until finally an alien ship happens upon it. What an incredible taste! They must have more. Scans show that Earth suffered an “extinction event”. The only way to get more ice cream is to re-create the Earth and let time do the rest.
The world has a second chance. Will Stan do it differently this time? Will anyone discover the truth of this new reconstructed existence? Will Bill Nye show up at the end to throw cold water all over “Ice Cream-ulation Theory”? You’ll have to watch to find out.
In the B-story, the entire rest of the family gets their heads stuck in the banister, which basically puts Roger, Francine, Hayley and Jeff out of action. The best instalments are usually Roger-centric, but not this time. Perhaps American Dad needed to catch up with Rick and Morty, or perhaps it should try harder to live up to the promise of old episodes like “Lost in Space” or the saga of the Golden Turd. At first it appeared this episode was going to a gamer-based comedy. Then it evolved into something more existential. It can be stated firmly that “Brave N00b World” returns the show to a high point like the good old Mike Barker days.